Welcome back and a very Happy New Year to you. I hope that you managed to get some much needed rest and relaxation but also did not take your foot foot off the accelerator too much – whether you are first or second year IB.

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Have you made any?

I hope this post gives you some ideas for some ‘Chemistry‘ New Year’s resolutions / ideas.

The idea I wan’t to focus on is effective revision.  There are three reasons for this:

1, To give you some ideas as to how you can get the best possible grade (!)

2, If you are in IB 2 you may well have some mock examinations coming up very soon.

3, I feel a bit guilty that most of my recent posts have been to do with the ‘new’ course which doesn’t actually affect the half of the people still doing the ‘new’ course!

So, effective revision. No just random revision.

The difference? Effective revision is planned and if it is planned and carried out well should actually reduce the time you need to revise.

Some tips to help:

  • Start your revision planning early
  • Work backwards – start with your end point – probably your final exam and work backwards to today (not tomorrow!)
  • Don’t make your plans too general – in other words – don’t just plan to ‘revise’ or ‘work’ – what exactly will you do?* (below)
  • Don’t make your plans too specific – a day by day, hour by hour account is bound not to work. Keep your ideas generalized. The more immediate things – for example, today, tomorrow, next week, you can plan day by day but after that you just need a general direction than ends at your end point.
  • At a later stage be prepared to adjust your plans. What you write now is not fixed in stone. You must be adaptable (think of your revision plans a continual working model that gets redrafted and redrafted … sounds familiar?!)

* so, some revision ideas.

The easy ones – read your notes, make new notes, read text books, revision books, look material up online, post some questions in forums, speak to your friends.

Slightly harder – make some flash cards out of cardboard, there are also lots of smart card (and other good) revision apps you can get on your phone.

Even harder -try some past papers – mark them, copy them, ask your teachers to mark them – compare your marks – are you too lenient or too strict? Ask your friends to do some papers – mark them, feedback to them with regards to what they got wrong. Read the examiners report – ask your teacher for this (ask your teacher if they have read it!).

Good luck!

I’d love to hear your experience of what makes a good revision programme. If you feel like sharing your ideas, please post them below.